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  • Samuel at Gilgal

    This year I will be sharing brief excerpts from the articles, sermons, and books I am currently reading. My posts will not follow a regular schedule but will be published as I find well-written thoughts that should be of interest to maturing Christian readers. Whenever possible, I encourage you to go to the source and read the complete work of the author.

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Geert Wilders Speaks At Free Speech Conference

DEN HAAG-VERKIEZINGEN-DEBATGeert Wilders is the Chair of the Parliamentary Party (Party for Freedom) in the House of Representatives of the Netherlands. He has been outspoken on the issues of immigration, Islamic fundamentalism and freedom of speech. His provocative 2008 film about Islam in the Netherlands, Fitna, has received international attention. Due to death threats, he has been forced into guarded isolation. These are some of Geert Wilders’ recent remarks at the Free Speech Summit in Palm Peach, Florida:

I wish I had come to a place they call they call The Sunshine State with better news, but it would be very unwise to deny that the situation indeed is very gloomy, and it might take a while for you to understand the situation that we are in now. Maybe you as Americans still think that Europe is a place with a great culture and a profound way of looking at things. Maybe you see immigration as something that is inherently good for our country as it contributed so much for the United States, and I understand that. But Ladies and Gentleman the Europe as you know it from visiting Europe or from stories from your parents or friends or whoever, is on the verge of collapsing.

We are now witnessing profound changes that will forever alter Europe’s destiny and might send the Continent in what Ronald Reagan once called: “A thousand years of darkness.

And the takeover of Europe, that is currently taking place, is part of a global fight, a global fight of Islam for World domination.

Let me tell you first, that Islam is not a religion. Islam is a totalitarian political ideology. Islam hearts lies at the Koran and the Koran is a book that calls for hatred, that calls for violence, for murder, for terrorism, for war and submission.

The Koran calls upon Muslims to kill Kuffars, non-Muslims. The Koran describes Jews as monkeys and pigs, and Churchill, and I agree with him, Churchill compared the Koran, the book in the 50’s, to Adolf Hitlers book Mein Kampf.

Ladies and Gentleman the core of the problem with Islam is twofold, First, the commands of the Koran are not limited by place or time, they apply for all time, to all Muslims of the World.

Second, the Koran is Allah’s personal words that leaves no room for interpretation, therefore, there is not such a thing as a moderate Islam. Of course, there are many moderate Muslims, but a moderate Islam does not exist.

As the Turkish Prime Minister Mr. Erdoğan once rightfully said, he said: “There is no moderate Islam, Islam is Islam”

Continue reading. . . .

Lt Colonel Allen West was also present at the Free Speech Conference and was interviewed by Atlas Shrugs:

Meditating On The Bible

bible123Quoting William Bridge:

Meditation will keep your hearts and souls from sinful thoughts. When the vessel is full you can put in no more…. If the heart be full of sinful thoughts, there is no room for holy and heavenly thoughts: if the heart be full of holy and heavenly thoughts by meditation, there is no room for evil and sinful thoughts.

Elementary Thoughts: Selfishness – Part 6

principalAll of us know that children have to face a variety of problems as they grow up. Some of these problems are serious. Some are not. This is simply a part of the maturation process. It is as natural as puberty. The way these problems are handled, however, can have positive or negative effects for a lifetime. Such issues as homework and study habits may not seem very complex, but in the perspective of time they may have a tremendous impact on the ability of an individual to develop the skills necessary for self discipline and a successful lifestyle. The active and caring involvement of an adult can make a significant difference in these areas of a child’s life. We must also remember that children want and need our involvement in the easy times and the hard. If you want your child to respect your opinion when he becomes a teenager, you have to invest the time to build your relationship while he is still a child.

What was the unique heritage your parents passed on to you? What are you “saving up” for your children? Memories are like small voices speaking from a special time and place in our past. They give us a distinct perspective of the present and the future. Have you ever found your thoughts taking you to the past and the emotions you felt long ago when you were faced with circumstances similar to a present experience? Our current attitudes and responses are often the result of those experiences.

Memories can be a storehouse of pain. Past hurts seem to lie in waiting for the appropriate moment to spring into our thinking. They can weld the power to torment us as we try to make decisions. They can cause us to view the future with fear and uncertainty. They can prevent us from forming new relationships and setting new goals. Negative memories can depreciate our individual dignity and self-worth. They can give us a sense of hopelessness concerning the future. It sometimes seems as if every negative insinuation that ever came our way can be brought to remembrance. Like a malignant cancer, hurtful memories can destroy life.

Memories can also be a powerful source of healing. They can provide comfort and security in the midst of stressful circumstances and overwhelming problems. They can reassure us when our self esteem has been damaged by the thoughtlessness of others and temporary setbacks in our goals. They can motivate us to continue with determination when opposition from the world would bring us to a standstill. They can even help us to forgive.

I believe that even our attitudes toward God, and our feeling of security in the relationship we have with Him, are often determined by our memories of past relationships within our families. I especially believe that our memories of our parents are significant in either enhancing or limiting our ability to trust God with the outcome of our lives.

Were our parents dependable? Did they keep their word to us as we were growing up? Did they create a stable home environment for us? Did we feel nurtured, loved, and accepted? Did we really believe that our parents valued us? All of these questions raise issues that we carry, for better or worse, in our conscious and subconscious memories for a lifetime. The way we answer these questions is a continuing source of strength or pain. (Continued tomorrow)

The Grab For Power

Quoting Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich:

“We are seeing the biggest power grab by politicians in American history. The idea that they would propose that the Treasury could intervene and take over non-bank, non-financial system assets gives them the potential to basically create the equivalent of a dictatorship.”

Soros Commission Pushes For Show Trials

Quoting Matthew Vadum:

The so-called Commission on Accountability which mysteriously appeared on the political scene a few days ago to push for show trials related to War on Terror interrogation policies is a PR hoax created by liberal philanthropist George Soros and political operatives sympathetic to the Obama administration.

The push is part of a vindictive campaign to pay back the architects of the War on Terror for making a good faith effort to defend America. . . .

Continue reading. . . .

Is God Unfair?

the-gospelFrom: The Desk of John MacArthur

“Peter, an Apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who reside as aliens scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia, who are chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father by the sanctifying work of the Spirit that you may obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with His blood: may grace and peace be yours in fullest measure.” (1 Peter 1:1)

Now the essence of this salutation as Peter begins his letter is to emphasize that those to whom he writes are chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father. And thus does Peter take a theological plunge of profoundly deep proportions at the very outset of this letter. The lesson for us tonight is going to deal with the subject of election, or being chosen by God. . . .

The gifted Bible teacher, scholar, A. W. Pink who, by the way, died in 1952, once began a sermon by saying this, “I am going to speak tonight on one of the most hated doctrines of the Bible, namely that of God’s sovereign election,” end quote. He was right. It is a hated doctrine.

He later wrote these words, and I find them very insightful, “God’s sovereign election is the truth most loathed and reviled by the majority of those claiming to be believers. Let it be plainly announced that salvation originated not in the will of man but in the will of God that were it not so none would or could be saved. For as the result of the Fall man has lost all desire and will unto that which is good and that even the elect themselves have to be made willing and loud will be the cries of indignation against such teaching.” Then he says, “Merit-mongers will not allow the supremacy of the divine will and the impotency of the human will. Consequently they who are the most bitter in denouncing election by the sovereign pleasure of God are the warmest in crying up the free will of fallen man,” end quote.

What he’s saying is it’s hard for some people to accept the biblical doctrine of sovereign election. It’s hard for man to acknowledge the fact that his salvation is an act of God. In his fallenness he wants to assume some responsibility, even if it’s a small responsibility, for having believed. He wants some credit desperately for having made a right choice.

Furthermore, the doctrine of election seems repulsive to us because by our standards it seems unfair that God should out of all the world of human beings choose some at His own discretion to be saved and not the rest. But you understand, don’t you, that the reason man so desperately wants to have a part is because in his fallenness he wants to exercise his pride. And so we can eliminate that as a real issue, it only is an expression of fallenness. What about the part about being unfair? Is God unfair? No, God is never to be measured by any human standard, certainly not by the human standard of fairness which is also a reflection of man’s…what?…fallenness. Are we so foolish as to assume that we who are fallen sinful creatures have a higher standard of what is right than an unfallen and infinitely and eternally holy God? What kind of pride is that? Therein lies the real problem.

In Psalm 50:21 God said, “You thought that I was all together like you, how wrong you are.” So many places in the Bible warn us not to assume that what we believe is the standard by which God must function. It says in Psalm 97 verse 2, “Righteousness and justice are the foundation of His throne.” Righteousness and justice are the very foundation of the throne of God. That is to say whatever God does proceeds from a base of righteousness and justice. It may not be human righteousness and human justice but it is divine.

In those familiar words of Isaiah 55:8 and 9, the Scripture says of God, “My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord, for as the heavens are higher than the earth so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.” We are in no position as fallen creatures to determine whether what God does is just, right or fair.

In Romans 11:33 the Apostle writes, “O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God, how unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways for who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has become His counselor?” You’ve stepped out of bounds when you say that God does anything that isn’t fair.

House Passes Hate Crimes Act

gayfistThe U.S. House of Representatives has approved legislation that protects bizarre sexual orientations and threatens the free speech and freedom of religion of those who dare speak out publicly against homosexuality. By a 249-to-175 vote, the House passed the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act today. The bill adds gender, gender identity, and sexual orientation to the list of protected categories under federal hate crimes law.

Congressional support is ignoring the case of eleven Christians in Philadelphia who were charged with hate crimes for sharing Scripture verses at a homosexual pride rally. These Philadelphia Christians were arrested and jailed based on hate crime law. Despite the promises of those who say it will not happen, a pastor who delivers a sermon denouncing homosexuality or transgenderism could be prosecuted for hate speech under the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act if it passes in the US Senate.

The citizens of Canada were led to believe that these laws would apply only to violent acts. The reality, however, is that religious freedom and free speech in Canada no longer exists as we know them in the US. In Canada, people have been prosecuted for saying that homosexuality is immoral or sinful.

Taxing Corporations Or People?

walterwilliamsQuoting Walter Williams:

“Ask the average person which is the correct answer to the following question: Which president gave the biggest tax cuts for the rich — Reagan or Bush? I would bet the rent money that you would not get the correct response, which is: Presidents have no taxing authority. Article I, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution says: ‘The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises.’ … Another tax question: If there’s an imposition of a property tax on your land, who pays the tax? I guarantee you that land does not pay taxes; only people pay taxes. That means a tax on your land is a tax on you. You say, ‘Williams, that’s pretty elementary, isn’t it?’ But what do you say to a politician or news media people who propose increasing corporate taxes as means to get rich corporations to pay their rightful share of government? They should be told that they speak nonsense because corporations, like land, do not pay taxes; only people pay taxes. If a tax is levied on a corporation, and if it is to survive, it must raise the price of its product, or lower dividends or lay off workers. In each case, it is people, not some legal fiction called a corporation, who bear the burden of any tax levied on the corporation. An important subject area in economics called tax incidence says that the entity upon whom a tax is levied does not necessarily bear the burden of the tax. Some of the tax burden can be shifted to another party. That’s precisely what corporations do and as such they are merely government tax collectors.”

Read more here. . . .

Let A Man Have What He Will

Jonathan Edwards

Jonathan Edwards

Quoting Jonathan Edwards:

Let a man have what he will, and do what he will, it signifies nothing without charity; which surely implies that charity is the great thing, and that everything which has not charity in some way contained or implied in it is nothing, and that this charity is the life and soul of all religion, without which all things that wear the name of virtues are empty and vain.

Elementary Thoughts: Selfishness – Part 5

principalPaul writes in II Corinthians 12:14 that “… children should not have to save up for their parents, but parents for their children…” Ask yourself these very important questions: “As a parent, what am I saving up for my children? What is the heritage I am providing for them through my life? What do I want my children to remember about me on the day of my funeral?”

I am obviously not talking about finances. I am speaking of things which are immensely more important to our well being. These are memories, relationships, family traditions, character, and spiritual understanding; the factors which eventually write the script of our lives. They inspire to success or discourage us from trying. They instill in us the attitudes with which we approach living as human beings.

I asked the congregation of our church one evening to raise their hands if they had pleasant memories of their childhood family life. Only about half of the people sitting there that evening could raise their hands. The number of young adults who feel this way today does not surprise me. In fact, I believe that the number of adults with unhappy and frustrated attitudes toward their childhood years is going to significantly increase in the years to come. Too many parents are simply too busy with their own pursuit of self satisfaction. They make little time to be actively involved in anything but the most peripheral activities of their child’s life.

Each year I increasingly hear from teachers their concerns over parental response, or lack of it, regarding their own children’s needs. Teachers are more and more often coming away from conferences having been made to feel that they have unnecessarily intruded upon the parent’s valuable time. Often, teachers are given the impression by parents that if their child is having a problem at school, it is the school’s problem and the school needs to make whatever accommodation is necessary to take care of it.

In a society of self-pleasers, it is much easier to deal with any problem by believing that it belongs to someone else. Problems take time to resolve. They require our involvement and undivided attention. Most adults, today, are so preoccupied with their own personal lives that they react with symptoms of emotional burnout if they have to become intensely involved in helping their children resolve important issues. In these circumstances, relatively small problems can bring forth outbursts of highly charged emotions. (Continued tomorrow)

The Most Valuable Book In The World

Elias Boudinot

Elias Boudinot

Quoting Elias Boudinot:

For nearly half a century have I anxiously and critically studied that invaluable treasure [the Bible]; and I still scarcely ever take it up that I do not find something new – that I do not receive some valuable addition to my stock of knowledge or perceive some instructive fact never observed before. In short, were you to ask me to recommend the most valuable book in the world, I should fix on the Bible as the most instructive both to the wise and ignorant. Were you to ask me for one affording the most rational and pleasing entertainment to the inquiring mind, I should repeat, it is the Bible; and should you renew the inquiry for the best philosophy or the most interesting history, I should still urge you to look into your Bible. I would make it, in short, the Alpha and Omega of knowledge. (President of Congress, Framer of The Bill of Rights)

Taxpayer Dollars To Terrorist Organizations

The Los Angeles Times has reported that the Obama Administration has asked Congress to water down a law that prevents taxpayer dollars from going to designated terrorist groups. Millions of your hard-earned dollars will be sent to the terrorists in Hamas. The money is intended to help the Palestinian Authority with reconstruction efforts in Gaza after Israel’s 22-day battle to root out the terrorists who were launching thousands of rockets from Gaza at Israeli cities. But Gaza is controlled by Hamas, not the Palestinian Authority.

This is just one more way this administration is wasting your money. Washington pressured Israel to give up “land for peace.” So, Israel gave up Gaza and, in return, Hamas terrorists used it as a launching pad for thousands of rocket attacks against Israel. Now the President wants you to pay for the mess that Hamas created and which Washington foolishly insisted upon.

Struggling With Sin?

respectable-sinsFrom: The Desk of Dr. Brian Abshire

[What] many Christians have not considered is the fundamental sin that gives rise to every other sin; the sin of Adam in the Garden. When Adam ate from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, he was not just breaking some legalistic rule God had set up; instead, he wanted to be as God, knowing good and evil for himself. Thus, the first sin was idolatry; an attempt to usurp the privilege of God and to be God, determining good and evil based on his own criteria.

Original sin was not just stealing a piece of fruit from a tree; nor breaking an arbitrary rule but committing a revolutionary act whereby Adam wanted to become a god in his own right. Adam committed a huge sin, blaspheming the nature of God by trying to take to himself the attributes of God. And every human sin, in some way or another, can be traced back to this sinful orientation inherited from Adam. Every time a man sins, he does so because he wants what he wants, rather than what God wants. Sinful men want to call evil “good” and good “evil;” just look at our modern culture embracing fornication, adultery and sodomy and persecuting those who refuse to accept these “alternative” lifestyles. All the great kings and emperors of history attempted unlawful dominion over others to glorify their own names; remember when God had to put Nebuchadnezzar in his place for self-exaltation?

Each and every one of the Ten Commandments are prohibitions of sinful desires to be as God; to worship as one pleases rather than as God wills, to rebel against lawful authority that God has established, to take the life, wife, property or reputation of others because we want what we want, when we want it. Never mind for a moment the pragmatic arguments for the superiority of the Moral Law as a social and legal code (and of course it certainly is a superior way to live); God in the Ten Commandments shows how our sinful orientation opposes His will because we want to be God.

Now, when Christ through His Spirit enters a sinful heart and breathes new life into it, giving a man the ability to understand and receive the gospel, that basic, sinful orientation is changed. Rather than being enemies of God seeking to dethrone Him and replace His authority with our own, now we become “sons of God” and want to live in humble submission to Him. However, the process of working out that salvation in fear and trembling takes a lifetime; in fact, though we do not have time to discuss this here I would argue that it takes multiple generations for sanctification to work itself out in every aspect of a culture. Here though we need only note that though our basic orientation is changed, every one of us needs to learn how to bring every area of life into submission to King Jesus.

And that is where the problem comes in; for though our heart has been changed, often our thinking, priorities and values have not yet been sanctified. And therefore, even though forgiven and restored to a proper relationship with God, many of us will struggle with this old sinful desire to be as God, determining good and evil based on our own subjective standards.

From Inflation To Socialism

inflationQuoting Ben Shapiro:

“All of Obama’s economic policies thus far are designed to drive America into full embrace of socialism. His chief means for this transformation: inflation. He is attempting to inflate the currency through two primary means: intense deficit spending, and pushing up production costs through union subsidization. In order to make these measures politically palatable, he cites FDR as an example of good deficit spending; he cites the credit crunch as an excuse for inflationary monetary policy; and he recommends unionization in order to boost wages. It’s a beautiful strategy for purposefully trashing capitalism, all the while blaming capitalism for its own downfall. John Maynard Keynes, the liberal economist who championed government intervention during recessions, recognized Obama’s inflationary strategy for what it is: ‘Lenin is said to have declared that the best way to destroy the capitalist system was to debauch the currency,’ said Keynes. ‘Lenin was certainly right. The process engages all the hidden forces of economic law on the side of destruction, and does it in a manner which not one man in a million is able to diagnose.’ Obama pursues inflation — government devaluation of the currency — with the zeal of the newly converted. His deficit spending will be financed either through higher taxes or through inflation. Obama says he will push higher taxes — after all, he wants to appease the Chinese, who don’t want their U.S. securities paid off with inflated dollars. But covertly, Obama fully intends on inflating the currency to pay of the massive deficit he has shoved through Congress. … It’s the same tried and true policy that created the Great Depression.”

Read more. . . .

Pearls

Quoting Charles Spurgeon:

I wish, brothers and sisters, that we could all imitate “the pearl oyster”-A hurtful particle intrudes itself into its shell, and this vexes and grieves it. It cannot reject the evil, but what does it do but “cover” it with a precious substance extracted out of its own life, by which it turns the intruder into a pearl! Oh, that we could do so with the provocations we receive from our fellow Christians, so that pearls of patience, gentleness, and forgiveness might be bred within us by that which otherwise would have harmed us.

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